• The American Rescue Plan committee, made up of the Benton County Quorum Court, will finalize funding for non-profits during the June Quorum Court meeting.

    The Benton County Quorum Court has spent, appropriated, or committed approximately $45.5 million in American Rescue Plan funds. Benton County received $54 million from the federal government, as part of the American Rescue Plan. On May 26, the Quorum Court approved a resolution to appropriate ARP funds to nine local non-profits. Twelve other outside organizations are expected to have ARP funds appropriated to their agencies during the June Quorum Court meeting.  After the June 30 meeting, a total of approximately $5.87 million will be approved for non-profit organizations. The Quorum Court also appropriated $2.5 million in ARP funds for Benton County facilities updates and drainage projects.

    Timeline for ARP funding requests

    In August 2021, Benton County requested organizations apply for economic recovery assistance as part of the American Rescue Plan. The County received 57 applications by the end of October 2021. Organizations presented funding proposals to the American Rescue Plan committee during January, February, and March of 2022. Quorum Court members based funding approval on the established federal criteria for ARP projects and considered whether the proposals would have a positive impact on the Benton County community.  

    In April 2022, Quorum Court members approved $2.5 million in funding for Benton County facilities updates, drainage projects, and the Gravette Lions Club. During the May Quorum Court meeting, $1.6 million in funding was approved for nine organizations initially rated above 3.0 in the review process. Justices of the Peace asked 17 groups rated below 3.0 to revise their funding requests and present those revisions to the ARP Committee.

    On May 17, proposals for twelve non-profits were recommended for approval with requests totaling $4.295 million. In total, 22 local non-profits will receive funding from Benton County as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.  ARP funds were also set aside for employee premium pay, COVID-19 mitigation efforts, healthcare, and potential Criminal Justice Facility improvements.

    Approved non-profit applicants will sign agreements with Benton County, submit reporting documentation, and submit expenditure details for any funds awarded. All awarded money must be encumbered by December 31, 2024 and spent by December 31, 2026. Any funds not used by the organizations will need to be returned to Benton County.

    What is the American Rescue Plan?

    According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide a substantial infusion of resources to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout  and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. The U.S. Department of Treasury is launching this relief to:

    • Support urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease spread of the virus and bring the  pandemic under control
    • Replace lost revenue for eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to strengthen support                      for vital public services and help retain jobs
    • Support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses
    • Address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the impact of the pandemic

    How does this impact Benton County?

    Benton County has received $54 million total from the American Rescue Plan. The Benton County Quorum Court formed an American Rescue Plan Committee which will be the legislative body determining how and where these funds will be utilized. The American Rescue Plan Committee has met and reviewed the applications and will continue to discuss the relief topics.

    How can the public participate?

    As always, these meetings are open to the public. Public comment will be taken in person or comments can   be sent to QuorumCourt@BentonCountyAR.Gov which goes to each member of the Quorum Court. More details will come from these meetings and will be communicated with the public and necessary entities as determined.